Rows await DA’s new Cape leader

Sunday Times - - NEWS - By JAN-JAN JOUBERT and APHIWE DEKLERK

Bonginkosi Madik­izela was yes­ter­day elected the new DA leader in the West­ern Cape and was im­me­di­ately con­fronted by a feud and po­ten­tial spend­ing scandal.

Madik­izela de­feated Len­nit Max in a tightly con­tested elec­tion. Madik­izela’s fel­low MEC Al­bert Fritz was elected deputy, beat­ing Ma­si­zole Mn­qasela. An­ton Bre­dell was re­tained as chair­man.

His elec­tion makes Madik­izela the favourite to suc­ceed his close ally, He­len Zille, as provin­cial pre­mier in 2019.

He will now need to deal with a fall­ing out be­tween Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille and may­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber JP Smith as well as a growing con­tro­versy over mu­nic­i­pal spend­ing on De Lille’s pri­vate home in Pinelands.

De Lille has been ac­cused by the ANC of rob­bing the poor af­ter it emerged that R140 000 spent on bur­glar-proof­ing her home was bud­geted for use in Khayelit­sha.

The ANC leader in the Cape Town city coun­cil, Xolani So­tashe, said yes­ter­day that the money had been in­tended for the up­keep of a coun­cil build­ing in Khayelit­sha.

But Dirk Smit, the speaker of the Cape Town metro, de­fended the spend­ing. He said the coun­cil had moved to a new build­ing. Smit in­sisted that no politi­cian had been in­volved in the de­ci­sion to al­lo­cate the money to the mayor’s home.

The Sun­day Times has seen City of Cape Town doc­u­ments show­ing that the money was for op­er­a­tional costs amount­ing to R702 000 in the city’s sub-coun­cil 24, which in­cludes parts of Khayelit­sha.

So­tashe said: “The money should have been used in the area where peo­ple live in ab­so­lute squalor.”

He claimed an­other R355 000 had been spent on se­cu­rity cam­eras at the mayor’s home. This would amount to ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture be­cause it rep­re­sents a bud­get de­vi­a­tion of more than R200 000 that was not ap­proved by the coun­cil.

Smit said all se­cu­rity mea­sures had been done strictly in ac­cor­dance with the law, po­lice rec­om­men­da­tions and pro­ce­dures for the low­est ten­der.

The speaker said the se­cu­rity cam­eras re­mained the prop­erty of the city and would be re­moved when De Lille ceased to be mayor. Be­cause the money spent on the cam­eras was the re­sult of an open ten­der, no de­vi­a­tion no­tice was nec­es­sary.

The DA lead­er­ship has barred both De Lille and Smith from speak­ing to the me­dia about the dis­pute.

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